Learning how to draw is a skill that can be more than just a hobby. An engineer can use a drawing to explain a concept for a product. A manager can use a simple drawing to clearly explain a management process. A teacher can use a drawing of a cartoon to emphasize a certain important concept to a class. In addition to that, it is fun to draw! Grabbing a drawing pad and walking out into a park to draw the scenery is a very relaxing and fun way to spend an afternoon. It's also a great way to meet people, because once you start drawing people may want to see what you are drawing and there is the instant conversation starter!
The only supplies you need are a pad of paper, a few pencils and an eraser. There is no secret to learning drawing and anybody can learn to draw, it's all about how you approach the process. The first step is to learn that everything around you is composed of a combination of three shapes: a cube, sphere or a cylinder. The drawing process begins with looking at what you want to draw and breaking it down into those shapes. For instance, a car body might be three connected cubes for the front, middle and rear. The wheels you could draw as some very thin cylinders laying on the ground. Or a tree could be a series of cylinders stacked on top of each other and going off in different directions.
The other way to approach drawing with the shapes is to draw the shape of your subject within one of the basic shapes. So if you are drawing a ship you could draw a long rectangular cube and then sketch the pointed bow on one end and the rounded stern (rear portion of the ship) on the other. You could then use cubes to build the ship's tower on top of the long rectangular shape. Once you like the over all shape you can erase the unnecessary lines.
Drawing is visual problem solving and it really opens your mind to a new way of seeing the world. Once you start drawing on a regular basis you will start looking around at things and asking yourself "How can I draw that?" Once you start breaking things down to their basic shapes you will see that anything can be drawn well if you take the time to really look at it and then draw it carefully. There are other aspects to drawing such as perspective and composition of the drawing, but in the beginning just concentrate on a good drawing of your subject.
I said earlier that there is no secret to learning how to draw but actually there is! It's not really a secret though, it's a principle that applies to a lot of things in life. The secret to good drawing is drawing a lot. The best thing you can do to help your drawing ability is start carrying a portable sketchbook with you and when you have some spare time draw something. Repetition is the key to mastery and even a few minutes of drawing everyday will make a big difference!